Interview with Saudi Arabian Fashion Designer Hania
One of the pioneers in the abaya design fashion field in Saudi Arabia, Hania, the designer, steers the reins of this renowned and successful brand Oriental, which has participated in many events, fashion shows and is displayed in well known stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue in Riyadh.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I like to describe myself as a fashion designer and business woman. My BA was in Economics. In addition, I took several courses in photography and fashion design when I was in the U.S. In 2011, I started my business Oriental By Hania as a fashion brand that was part of my father’s fashion company.
How did you get into fashion?
I have been interested in fashion and design ever since I was a little girl. When I was young, my parents encouraged me and believed in my talent. I started participating and giving my opinions in some designs and displays that were produced at my father’s fashion company. After returning from the states, I became motivated to start my own business and that was the start of my fashion adventure.
What inspires you?
For me the inspiration comes from everywhere. I have been taught and inspired by life.
Who do you design for?
I design different styles, but I especially like to design for confident, ambitious and bold women. Each woman has a different background and style. When a lady visits my store, she will definitely find something that will match her taste and preferences. In short, I don’t design abayas, I design dreams.
Do you think fashion and style are things that can be attained through practice, or are they things that you are born with?
I think people are born with style. It’s not something that can be developed by practice and studying.
How has the feedback been towards your fashion brand?
As a business woman feedback is the most important part in my trade, since it enables me to modify my product if needed. What made me motivated was the amazing feedback I recieved. The majority of people liked my abayas and told me that they were different from my competitors’ in terms of the quality and style. Moreover, I built a huge customer base in a short period. I’m happy that they trust and believe in my designs and I look forward to keeping my customers satisfied.
Do you have any advice for other fashion designers wanting to break out into the business?
Don’t be fooled with the glamour of fashion. Fashion can be a very stressful career to choose. You need to be talented and patient; willing to ask and learn. Don’t be shy asking for advice or help when needed. To build your name in fashion, be yourself and create your own brand.